I may have to swear off Trading Spouses and just stick to the gentle insanity of Big Brother. TS is too real, too close to the raw bone of human nature to enjoy as "hey, look at the geeks!" entertainment. The producers are very skilled at showing us just how pitiful these people are, without blurring the ugly edges. I've noticed that I am more than slightly depressed at the end of every episode because, as the show makes clear, most people are a huge disappointment to both themselves and to everyone else.
I thought no one could make me feel worse than Tammy Nakamura, the smug, self-righteous b*tch willing to exploit her own mother-in-law. This upper-middle class fraud needs to be slapped at least once by every TS viewer. I would watch the Slap Tammy Show for an hour a week for the rest of my life.
The Cooke and Levine families have made Tammy irrelevant. Poor self-conscious Jay Cooke, overcome at the meaningless of life at the Levine's, connects with the emotionally starved children and tries to comprehend the behavior of their manic mother. He pines for his simple country life with Brandi, his clinically depressed, misshappenly overweight wife, and his two seriously disturbed children who commit everyday atrocities on each other and the livestock. Does Jay long for the sweet release of death, as I do just watching him? He does not. He will suffer for another 50 years and never know true happiness, until he draws his last breath. Jay, do not waste a moment feeling badly that you misspent the Levine's $50K. The callous lawyer and his grasping wife will do just fine. Their children will bury both of them before they reach 50, and then go on to ruin the lives of their spouses, who had no warning of the childhood abuse that they are doomed to perpetuate.
Or, it could be that I am reading too much into all this and that TS is just another silly foray into TV "reality." I doubt it. Right now, Brandi is sitting on her couch, slackjawed, watching her kids kill each other, while Jay crouches on the porch watching the ill-made door of the chicken coop swing back and forth in the breeze. I wish I'd never met any of them.